Featured Poet: Becky Dennison Sakellariou, Peterborough
Becky Dennison Sakellariou was born and raised in New England and has lived all of her adult life in Greece . In the last five years, she has been "making her way home" to New Hampshire where she now spends half of every year. Writing since she was 7, she has, as a grown-up, published poetry in a wide variety of journals including Common Ground Review, White Pelican Review, Dos Passos Review. Beloit Poetry Journal and Passager. Her chapbook, The Importance of Bone, won first place in the Blue Light Press Contest in 2005 and was published that year. Her first full-length book, Earth Listening, was chosen by Hobblebush Books of Brookline, NH in 2010 as the second in the Granite State Poetry Series. She has won a number of prizes from individual journals and has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize Anthology.
When I found the book, Stanley Kunitz: A Life in Poetry and Gardens, I was riveted by the cover photograph of the poet bent over studying something in his garden. I loved the tender, sweet attention and the deep, steady human spirit the photograph expressed. I spent a long time savoring the words: the poems, the photos, the interview, the essays, and I wanted to put this feeling, this integrity, this humility into a poem for Kunitz. I had never met him, so I wanted to know him a little, to follow him through the garden and imagine where he paused and what he might be thinking. I wanted to touch his mortality.
Some Principle of Being*
For Stanley Kunitz
Come, quiet on your feet,
the path is lined with lavender
and yellow sweet pea.
over a bud, slip your third finger under it,
stroke it with your thumb.
Examine the folds, the shell, the possibilities
of beauty and loneliness
and of you, still here.
You know that you are going.
Your voice cradles the lilac buds,
lifting their eyes one by one.
Words are not written
on this broken grass
bent from your feet, and mine;
wild yellow mustard
takes over the field beyond, no shame,
just a tiny bitter leaf.
And the wind bends the blossom
toward the impossible
blue sides of leaves.
You have known light
and color, the teal of the clippers
the thin rust of dead leaves
keeping the earth musty
for the unlikely event
of another season.
The silver white mica
of the night sky slides
toward the cavern of all bodies.
*from The Layers by Stanley Kunitz
For more information about Becky Dennison Sakellariou visit: